There are lots of people that act as if they know lots of things about lots of things; Jacks of All Trades, if you will. I experienced this in teaching golf and I am experiencing it again in learning about health. I consulted with Ryan McElhinny, owner of Maximum Fitness systems, to help shed light on a few facts of which people get confused.
So here are 8 common misconceptions about burning fat:
1. Counting calories works for some people, but not all. I actually have had several people bring this up to me as if it were factual. The truth is that caloric intake is the single key to shedding fat. If a human being consumes the right amount of calories needed to fuel the body without over consuming, then the body will naturally burn fat. This formula works for men and women and is the basis of a healthy lifestyle: burn more calories than calories consumed = fat burning. Now due to an individual’s body chemistry it might take a longer period of time for some to burn fat, their body will do it. It will require tremendous persistence for some people.
2. Salads are the way to losing fat. Actually, salads can be the reason for fat loss failure! According to Ryan McElhinny when salads contain croutons, bacon bits and then are drenched in salad dressing they rob you of nutrients and the feeling of being full. A proper salad must contain “nutrient-dense and low-calorie items such as spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, etc. and mix in some lean proteins like beans, nuts and low fat cheeses…”
3. I need to weigh myself everyday. Although some may deem it necessary to weigh each morning, this act can actually discourage you more than encourage. The fat burning process is not very predictable and weight loss can vary from week-to-week. Avoid the up and down emotional roller coaster ride of scale watching. Focus on a long-term lifestyle change and only weigh yourself once every week or so. Instead of weighing, focus on proper eating and pay attention to how your clothes are fitting. This will give you a truer sense of how your body is changing.
4. Fad diets work. This statement can be true, but depends on your definition of “works.” The problems with fad dieting are they usually have a definite end date and are not sustainable over a long period of time. When the diet period ends the dieter usually returns to a poor eating regimen resulting in more weight/fat gain than previously realized! Instead of “dieting” focus on developing a life-habit of eating lots of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, lean meats and drinking plenty of water.
5. I must exercise a lot to lose fat. This is simply not true. Any person (free of a medical condition which would preclude them from losing weight) that focuses on eating the right types of foods in the proper quantity will burn fat. Exercise is recommended, but not completely necessary. “You cannot out exercise a bad diet,” states McElhinny.
6. I am “big boned” and was built to be fatter than most. This is a sensitive topic for some and, unfortunately, not true. I have consulted with doctors and health specialists and they all agreed that this is a very common excuse used by many people that are carrying around extra body fat. With that said, each person’s body is different which makes it important to have your body fat percentage calculated and a plan of eating developed to help shed dangerous, excessive fat. You need to work with your doctor to develop the right plan for you and your health needs! Different body types exist, but not one human being was designed to be obese.
7. Skipping breakfast helps when trying to slim down. Of all the misconceptions, this one is near the top of the list. Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do! Your body is in a state of fasting while you sleep and must receive a kick start in the morning. You must eat breakfast to get your metabolism up and running! Ryan says, “Think of breakfast as the spark that ignites up your body’s metabolic fire…” Find a simple, healthy breakfast if time is an issue. You will burn more fat.
8. I am just fine the way I am, even if I only carry around an extra 15-20 pounds of fat. Once again, not true. Unfortunately, it is a fact that any extra fat surrounding vital organs can cause serious health issues, the most serious being death. Extra fat is a sign of the lifestyle you live. Extra fat shows that an individual eats foods low in nutrients, high in caloric value and has a lower physical activity level. And the greater the fat percentage, the more the factors are accentuated. It is imperative to eat healthy foods and exercise if able: park farther away at the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to the end of your street and back.
I want to thank Ryan McElhinny for his input and expertise. You can check his Facebook page out here: Maximum Fitness Systems
As always I hope this information helps you, but more importantly, I hope it challenges you to take action. Living an unhealthy lifestyle will stand in the way of you living the life of your dreams. Take back your health, take back your life and start living!